Experience · Leadership · Compassion
Arts and culture organizations are always changing to suit the needs of the world we share, and their marketing strategies should follow suit. For a variety of reasons—financial, logistical, human—this doesn’t always happen. Regardless of the starting point or a leader’s ability to pinpoint the cause, I help arts and culture marketers work. That is my passion.
My offerings are geared toward continued progress and evolution—these include marketing assessments, session-based coaching, leadership searches, and change management. All of these offerings share in common that they are focused holistically on elevating an organization’s marketing practice without leaning excessively on one tool or tactic or technology. No single solution will last forever. By prioritizing goal-setting and strategic planning, we are better suited to choose the right tools for each moment and each task at hand.
All that I have learned has come through collaboration, first-hand experience, data-driven intuition, and the mutual sharing of ideas with trusted colleagues at world-class organizations. These are hallmarks of my style and offerings. For more detail on my complete range of services, including assessment, coaching, consulting, and leadership/executive search, visit my Services page.
My own personal story is a testament to the fact that engagement with arts and culture changes lives. Effective marketing leaders in our field play a critical role in this becoming reality for as many people as possible: bringing our work to the community, forging relationships, and ensuring stability and relevance in a constantly-changing world. In short, I believe that effective arts marketers enable our organizations to have greater social impact, and this drives me every day.
I share as much as possible through my consultancy, by teaching undergraduate and graduate students, and my dedication to coaching a diverse pool of arts practitioners so that our field can extend its reach to everyone who deserves its benefit—in short, everyone.
The Bio: Tom O'Connor
I am a New York-based marketing and audience development consultant with extensive experience in the not-for-profit and commercial arts and culture field, spanning theatre (Broadway, Off-Broadway, and regional), music, opera, dance, visual art, and multi-disciplinary performing arts centers. Prior to my current consultancy, I served as a founding Director of the Tessitura Network's Enterprise Consulting division, developing strategic plans and customer engagement strategies for some of the world's great arts and culture organizations, large and small. I formerly served as Director of Marketing & Audience Development for Roundabout Theatre Company, New York’s largest not-for-profit theatre, marketing iconic productions such as the return of Cabaret starring Alan Cumming, Anything Goes starring Sutton Foster, and world premiere plays such as Joshua Harmon’s Bad Jews and Stephen Karam’s Sons of the Prophet. From 2009 to 2014, I was fortunate to play a key role in many transformative initiatives for Roundabout, resulting in ticket sales records across all five venues, implementation of a new brand identity, marketing department restructuring, expanded utilization of research data and analytics, customer service operation restructuring, and website redesign/relaunch.
In addition to the above, I have also held in-house roles at Manhattan Theatre Club, Situation Interactive, the Huntington Theatre Company, and Boston's Stuart Street Playhouse. I am a past adjunct lecturer in the Brooklyn College Graduate Program in Performing Arts Management where I taught Marketing for the Performing Arts, as well as a regular guest lecturer in the graduate programs at Columbia and Yale Universities. I serve on the Board of the American Center for Folk Music, and on the Advisory Committee of LaPlaca Cohen’s industry-leading Culture Track study, in addition to serving on various grant panels. I have spoken and presented regularly on marketing and branding at the National Arts Marketing Project, Theatre Communications Group, Capacity Interactive Digital Marketing Bootcamp, and Tessitura Learning & Community Conferences. I am a graduate of Emerson College, and reside in Beacon, NY, in the Hudson Valley.